Most people assume that social media websites are for people under the age of 30, so why market on these websites, especially if your targeted market is older than this age group? In truth, social media is for everyone and those aged 35 and older now find just as much interest in social media as their younger counterparts.
With current statistics showing that there are now over 900 million Facebook users, 555 million users on Twitter and 490 million users on YouTube, business owners just can’t afford to ignore the marketing potential of social media websites.
However, business participation on these sites simply for the sake of being a part of the phenomenon is not effective either. A business has to have a purpose and a reason for engaging in social media, and it is this purpose that will define the platform used. Each of the social platforms have different features, audiences and work best for certain objectives. The following are the most popular of the social platforms, but each has its own specific characteristics.
1 – Facebook
This social media site offers an excellent option for businesses needing brand exposure, or help in building better customer relations. It works ideally for business to consumer (B2C) outreach, especially because it offers a business ‘approachability.’ In other words, it offers a more approachable branding image for any business. The only drawback is that it’s not as SEO friendly as the Google counterpart. This doesn’t mean it cant be made friendlier though. By using appropriate keywords in page names and content, businesses can add SEO value to a Facebook profile.
Twitter is the perfect platform for businesses needing to offer quick responses to consumer questions or doubts. However, there are many businesses that still don’t understand how Twitter works. Consequently, it becomes too easy to abuse this communications platform, causing over sells and spam. In turn,this causes follower drop offs. The last thing anyone wants to do on any social media platform but especially on Twitter is to spam, or constantly offer promotional tweets.
This is an ideal social site for business users, and can be an important marketing tool to use in reaching these professionals. LinkedIn offers a general 50-50 male – female user base of business professionals looking to connect with peers; making it the ideal place to find new employees, do research and target professional markets.
The new thought leadership focus users are taking on LinkedIn, makes it an ideal informational platform to attract the interest of other business professionals, create business networks and find associated industry partners. Thought leadership involves creating innovative industry ideas which are recognized by peers.
No one can suggest one social media platform as better than another, because they are different. They have different demographics and reach different audiences. Each has specialized features that can help a business target a certain demographic. The social site used should depend on the product, the business purpose in participating on social media, and the targeted audience reached. In most cases, this involves participating on more than one social site, but not necessarily on all of them.